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Saturday, June 27, 2015

27, wounds 227 in Kuwait mosque KUWAIT | BY AHMED HAGAGY

Khamenei adviser: IS warned about Iraq shrines Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's military adviser, Gen. Yayha Rahim Safavi, talked about Iran’s involved in Iraq and Syria and said that Iran had sent a warning to the Islamic State (IS). Summary⎙ Print The military adviser for Iran's supreme leader said the Islamic State was warned about approaching Shiite shrines. AuthorArash KaramiPosted June 30, 2015 “Daesh [IS] wanted to come toward the holy shrines," Safavi said during a June 28 speech in Karaj just outside of Tehran. "We gave them a message that if they come close to holy shrines, we will enter the battle directly and you know you do not have the ability to confront Iranian Basiji.” Safavi did not say when this message was issued or how. Iraq is home to a number of Shiite shrines that are an important symbolic presence for Iranians and a destination of pilgrimage for millions of Iranians each year. When IS forces began taking over large parts of Iraq in June 2014, many Iranian officials were alarmed about how close IS fighters came to the Iranian border. They immediately helped arm forces both through the central government in Baghdad and forces in the Kurdish Regional Government. It was unlikely many of Iraq’s shrines would be taken over by IS, given that most of them are located in Shiite majority areas. Perhaps the only shrine that caused some alarm for Iranians and Iraqis was the al-Askari shrine north of Baghdad in Samarra, which has a large Sunni population. Iran has already sent a number of advisers into Iraq, some of who have been killed by IS fighters. Safavi, in these remarks, appears to be discussing sending thousands of fighters perhaps, if necessary. While the comment may just be rhetoric, it reflects Iran’s growing concern about how their involvement in Iraq and Syria is viewed domestically. Safavi acknowledged this concern when he said that some youth ask him why Iran is involved in the wars in Iraq and Syria. “Some youth ask us why me must support Syria and Iraq and I answer: If we do not fight the criminal Daesh on those borders and we do not safeguard our country’s security in those regions, then we must fight these terrorists on our borders.” The argument that Iran must “fight the terrorists there so they don’t fight them here” has been used before by various officials. With the rise of IS close to Iran's western border, this argument has a higher level of urgency. To highlight their involvement in Syria and Iraq, conservative Iranian media is also giving more coverage to Iranians killed in Syria and Iraq. Though some conservative websites would always acknowledge that names of those killed, today, there are more details shared about these individuals, their funerals are highlighted and more of their personal stories are shared. One recent example of this extensive coverage for those killed in Syria and Iraq is the June 29 commemoration of four fighters killed in Syria where the widow of one of the fighters told Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, “If necessary I too am ready to give my life in this war.” The comment was published in a number of conservative websites, all of which support Iran’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, which is in it’s fourth year. Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/06/iran-warned-islamic-state-shrines.html#ixzz3eabzAwkL ============== REUTERS - Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for Kuwait's worst militant attack last Friday, has built a network of militants in Gulf Arab states responsible for a campaign of suicide bombings against the Arabian Peninsula's Shi'ite minority. Some of the Sunni Muslim group's leaders hail from the Gulf, and its Saudi branch, called Wilayat Najd (Najd province), has called for clearing Shi'ites from the Peninsula and especially from Saudi Arabia, its largest country and home to Islam's holiest places. Islamic State subscribes to a puritanical school of Sunni Islam that considers Shi'ites as heretics and wants to sweep away a hereditary monarchy it regards as un-Islamic. Following are details about Gulf Arab nationals belonging to Islamic State, recent attacks claimed by the group in the Peninsula, and a note on militant financing. GULF ARABS AT SENIOR LEVELS IN ISLAMIC STATE: Turki al-Bin'ali: From the Sunni-ruled kingdom of Bahrain, this prominent ideologue and recruiter for the group has stridently denounced its many Muslim critics and defended its status as a state. He issued a treatise soon after Islamic State declared a "caliphate" based in Iraq and Syria a year ago rallying Muslims to the cause. According to a biography by one of his students, Bin'ali, about 30, has been banned from several Gulf States as well as Egypt. Mohammed Emwazi: Reported by Western officials to be "Jihadi John", the group's most notorious executioner, was born in Kuwait, although he moved to Britain at age 6, later graduating with a computer programming degree from the University of Westminster. Emwazi, identified as the masked man wielding a knife over Western hostages such as James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, is a 'bidoon', an underclass of stateless people in Kuwait that numbers tens of thousands. A lawyer representing Emwazi's father has said Western officials have presented no proof his client's son is "Jihadi John". [ID:nL5N0W63IA] Bandar bin Shaalan: A former officer in the Saudi security services, helped organise Islamic State and encourage religious scholars to endorse the group. According to an unverified series of leaks on Twitter from an alleged militant insider in Syria, bin Shaalan played an important role when Islamic State and al Qaeda's Nusra Front parted company, soliciting loyalty oaths and donations from jihadi figures in the Gulf. Omar "Abu Bakr" al-Qahtani: A Saudi Islamic scholar, was appointed as one of the group's three principal leaders for Islamic Law affairs. Othman al Nazeh al-Asiri: A Saudi who travelled to fight in Syria in 2013, was a prominent voice advocating membership of Islamic State during its split with the Nusra Front. He was reported to have been killed in Syria in January. A total of 2,284 Saudis have joined militant groups in Syria since the conflict began in 2011, Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour Turki told Reuters in March, of whom 645 had returned to the kingdom and about 570 had been killed. MILITANT FINANCING The United States suspects that some of the Islamic State's financing comes from private donations by wealthy Gulf Arabs. In a March 2014 speech, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen described Kuwait as "the epicentre of fundraising for terrorist groups in Syria." In an Oct. 2014 address, Cohen said that while the group does not rely heavily on external donor networks, "it maintains important links to financiers in the Gulf." IDEOLOGY Saudi Arabia's strict official Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam differs from the ideology of Islamic State in outlawing rebellion against governments it regards as legitimate and opposing attacks on non-Muslims in most circumstances. Saudi top clerics have decried militants as "deviants", but most refuse to acknowledge Shi'ites as being Muslims or to repudiate the teachings of earlier Wahhabi thinkers who argued for permanent jihad against heretics and infidels. ATTACKS IN SAUDI ARABIA The attacks have targeted members of the Shi'ite Muslim minority, policemen and Western expatriates, and represent the most serious militant threat inside the kingdom since it ended an al Qaeda campaign that lasted from 2003 to 2006. Two suicide bombings on Shi'ite mosques in Saudi Arabia's eastern region killed 24 people in May, carried out by Saudi militants and claimed by Islamic State. The first attack in al-Qadeeh village on May 22 killed 21 worshippers and wounded nearly 100 in the bloodiest militant attack in the kingdom, the world's top oil exporter, in years. An Islamist militant suicide bomber disguised as a woman blew himself up outside a Shi'ite mosque in the city of Dammam the following Friday, killing himself and three other people. The Interior Ministry said there was evidence of a link between Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and a militant cell in Saudi Arabia that had included the al-Qadeeh bomber. An unidentified subordinate of Baghdadi communicated with five Saudi men, now in Saudi custody, belonging to the same cell as the suicide bomber, Saleh bin Abdul Rahman Saleh Qashimi, ministry spokesman Bassam al-Attiyeh said in May. ATTACKS IN KUWAIT A suicide bomber killed 27 people when he blew himself up inside a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Kuwait city on June 26, in the worst militant attack in the Gulf state. Kuwait identified the bomber as a Saudi citizen, Fahd Suliman Abdul-Muhsen al-Qabaa. According to the U.S. State Department's annual report on terrorism released this month, Kuwait foiled several Islamic State bomb plots in 2014 and beefed up its border defences against infiltration by militants in Iraq. In December 2014, Kuwait arrested a 12-person cell, among them two former police officers planning bomb attacks on civilian and government targets.The interior ministry said in May that seven members of an alleged militant cell affiliated with the Islamic State were arrested in May for seeking to carry out sectarian attacks. (Sources: U.S. State Department, IHS Jane's Intelligence Review, Soufan Group, Reuters, Jihadica website; Writing by Noah Browning and Sami Aboudi, Editing by William Maclea Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 2h The Shah allowed Israel to construct a nest of spies at their Embassy in Tehran which Khomeini closed and handed its keys to Yasser Arafat. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 2h Unlike Pro-Israeli Shah, the Islamic Revolution of Iran stands firmly with all Sunnis and Shiites who carry arm and fight criminal Israelis. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 2h All authentic non-adultered Arab and Muslim struggle must Begin, Passes through and End with the Liberation of Palestine and Holy Jerusalem. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 3h To reduce recruitment for ISIS, the US should insist on having Israel signING the Nuclear Non-Proliferation program and dismantle its Nukes. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 3h To Geography-Ignorant Saudi Kings, the Liberation of Holy Jerusalem doesn't pass through Tehran. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 3h Besides being in breach of UN charter, the deployment of Turkish troops into Syria will meet Kurdish, Syrian and Hizbollah fighters. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 4h Turkish double standards: Erdogan supports Barzanistan in North Iraq but rejects the establishment of similar Kurdish entity in North Syria! View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 4h One of the most effective measures to slow the recruitment for ISIS is for the US to force the Israelis to go back to 1948 borders. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 4h Turkey and Erdodan must understand that Putin and Russia will protect Syria the Way Kruschev and the CCCP protected the sovereignty of Cuba. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 4h After their Special Forces had failed to effectively support ISIS, the Turks are moving armoured divisions across the border into Syria! View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 4h It isn't in the interest of Saudi King, Guardian of Holy Places, Islam labelled a Murderous Religion and Jerusalem desecrated by Israelis. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 5h The Royal Families of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco are either being intimidated or bribed by USraelis to support Inter-Arab fighting. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 5h WHA'S TO BE DONE? Arab-Muslim Brotherhood united against Israeli crimes and rejecting the premise "Israel is a Friend, Iran is the Enemy" View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 6h WHAT'S TO BE DONE: People must expose Media, Politicians and Preachers trying to make Arabs and Muslims kill each other as USraeli agents. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 6h WHAT's TO BE DONE? 3. The Barbaric crimes by Islamists are not being blamed on USraeli-recruited mercenaries but on MURDEROUS ISLAM. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 7h WHAT's TO BE DONE? 2. ISIS, Al-Nusrat Front and other Islamist groups are armed and financed by USraeli-led West and Arab and Muslim allies. View details · Reply Retweet Favorite Adnan Darwash Adnan Darwash @AdnanDarwash 7h WHAT'S TO BE DONE? 1. Led by Saudi Arabia, current Arab leadership changed the Arab-Israeli conflict into an Arab-Iranian one. ================== Wahhabism: Religious deviance and fountainhead of radicalism & extremism Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. Get short URL Published time: June 28, 2015 16:08 Reuters / Stringer Reuters / Stringer Trends Islamic State Tags Middle East, Politics, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism, Violence Muslims are caught in the eye of a ferocious storm as Islamic State’s legions spread fear across three continents. But anger has been misplaced as the real face of terror lies not with Islam but hidden in Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabism reigns all powerful. If the world ever needed a reminder that terror truly stands as an enemy of civilization and of all people - beyond class, faiths, ethnicity and political affiliation - the triple attacks this week by extremists in Lyon (France), Sousse (Tunisia) and Kuwait should stand as testimony to the evil that has besieged us all. Western politicians will likely exploit France's attack to push forth their own security agenda, calling on the Western world to fear and abhor Muslims as they themselves plot to encroach further on civil liberties and trample over human rights. However, many will fail to recognize where the true monster really lies. To reduce the world's terror crisis to Islam on account of a few twisted and psychotic individuals, who have decided to brand themselves Muslims, is as ridiculous as blaming the Bible or the whole of Christianity on the abuses of the Spanish Inquisition. There are over one billion Muslims in the world, of which less than half a percent have pledged themselves to the black flag of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). Branding 23 percent of the world’s population as religious criminals is a rationale of discrimination and prejudice that terror ideologues have used to build their army - exclusion is an epidemic which has cost the world too much blood already for it to be allowed to perpetuate. Read more France terrorist attack suspect took selfie with beheading victim Historically, men have long abused the name of God and religion to serve their own selfish goals, claiming holiness as a shield against criticism while perverting the Holy Scriptures to brainwash communities into absolute submission. Where religion offers freedom, bigotry has only ever enslaved and abused. Islam, like Judaism and Christianity before it, carries a message of peace and compassion. How people choose to interpret it takes nothing away from its message; if anything it says more about our ability, or rather inability as a people to respect the sanctity of faith. If religions are a reflection of the divine, our practice of it has proven to be inherently flawed, which has led to fanatics using God to breed dogmatism. This terror we have labeled as Islamic radicalism could not be further remote from Islam. Everything IS and its infernal sisters perpetrate, from the promises of bloody retributions to its militants' heinous crimes against humanity, are an abomination and a negation of Islam’s tenets. Read more Tunisia holds vigil for horrific beach massacre victims (PHOTOS) As hatred and fear are fast replacing reason and logic, it is time we all learn of the roots and driving forces behind this monstrosity - Wahhabism. If indeed our goal is to eradicate terror, we might want to start where it is bred, instead of appointing blame where it is not warranted. This Islam the world has come to loathe is in fact a perversion, which was born in the desert of Nejd in Saudi Arabia back in the 18th century. This ideology Muslims and non-Muslims alike have to come to fear and despise is but an engineered religious deviance rooted in hatred. Wahhabism is merely the misguided expression of one man’s political ambition - Mohammed Abdel-Wahhab, a bigot who was recruited by the British Empire to erode the fabric of Islam and crack the armor of the then-Ottoman Empire by breeding sectarianism and dissent. It is Abdel-Wahhab's alliance to the House of Saud that ultimately unleashed this now seemingly unstoppable evil we know today under the tag of Islamic radicalism. If not for the Al Saud Royals' billions and the silence of Western powers, Wahhabism would never have crossed the deserts of Saudi Arabia. If not for the kingdom's lavish sponsoring of the Wahhabi school of thought, extremism would never have come to be in the first place. Although exact numbers are not known, it is thought that Saudi Arabia has spent over $100 billion on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various, much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades, notwithstanding its efforts in the West. Islamic State’s obscene savagery epitomizes the violence inherent and central to Wahhabism and Salafism, its other radical branch. Let us all remember how eagerly the kingdom carries out death sentences by beheading or stoning and how generously its officials hand out lashings and other barbaric corporal punishments to its citizens before theorizing on the source of Islamic State’s murderous streak. IS is simply a studious disciple of Wahhabism. It learned its craft and its hate within its schools; it was force-fed its poison by a clergy which idolizes death and torture in the name of a misplaced and misguided understanding of what constitutes the holy. Ascetic, reactionary, murderous and cruel, Wahhabism is a terror that needs to be named before it can be defeated. Read more Fatal Friday: Scores dead after France, Tunisia & Kuwait hit by terrorist attacks More than any other people and religious community, Muslims have suffered as a consequence of the pain and suffering IS has inflicted. Naturally, they do not recognize this evil as having anything to do with their faith. And yet, Muslims continue to be blamed for the misery these Wahhabi legions wreak on the world. Would it not be better to admit that Wahhabism is not of Islam and thus free over a billion people from carrying such a collective burden of guilt? Ultimately, however drastic our security measures or violent our military interventions will be against radicals, it will all come to naught if we continue to allow Wahhabis to spew their poison through religious patronage? Terror will only end with the death of its ideology. The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT. ================ ISIL Warns to Carry Out Terrorist Attack in Saudi Arabia Friday ISIL Warns to Carry Out Terrorist Attack in Saudi Arabia Friday TEHRAN (FNA)- Taraki al-Ben Ali, the leader of the ISIL terrorist group's Bahrain branch, announced that a terrorist attack similar to what happened in Kuwait City yesterday will take place in Saudi Arabia next week. "We will attack Saudi Arabia next Friday," al-Ben Ali wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday. Al-Ben Ali made a similar threat against Bahrain on Saturday. "After the Friday's explosion of Imam Sadiq (PBUH) mosque in Kuwait City, it will be Bahrain's turn next Friday," al-Quds al-Arabi quoted Taraki al-Ben Ali as saying on Saturday. On Friday, at least 27 people were killed and over a dozen more were injured in a bomb attack at Imam Sadiq (PBUH) Mosque in Kuwait City. The bombing was carried out during the weekly Friday prayers at the mosque in the Sawabir district of the Kuwaiti capital. The Takfiri ISIL terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Similar terrorist attacks were carried out by the ISIL in Tunisia and France on Friday. In Tunisia, At least 37 people were killed in an attack by two gunmen in the Port El Kantaoui tourist complex, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) North of the town of Sousse. In France, a truck driver, reportedly carrying a flag of the ISIL Takfiri group, crashed into a gas factory located in the small town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Lyon, and hung his employer's severed head on a factory garage. ====================================== Kuwait says mosque bomber was young Saudi man, detains driver . Reuters By Ahmed Hagagy 46 minutes ago Mourners hold flags as the bodies of victims of Friday's bombing are buried in Al Jafariya cemetery in Suleibikhat . View gallery Mourners hold flags as the bodies of victims of Friday's bombing are buried in Al Jafariya cemetery … . By Ahmed Hagagy Related Stories 1. Kuwait says mosque bomber was young Saudi man, detains driver Reuters 2. Kuwait says mosque suicide bomber was Saudi: state media Reuters 3. Kuwait arrests suspects in mosque attack, mourns dead Reuters 4. Islamic State suicide bomber kills 27, wounds 227 in Kuwait mosque Reuters 5. Kuwait Shiite mosque bomber was Saudi national AFP KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait identified the suicide bomber behind its worst militant attack as a young Saudi Arabian man and said on Sunday it had detained the driver of the vehicle that took him to a Shi'ite Muslim mosque where he killed 27 people. The disclosure of the bomber's nationality is likely to focus the attention of authorities probing Friday's suicide attack on ties between Islamists in Kuwait and those in Saudi Arabia, a center of ultra-conservative Islamic thought. Kuwait's interior ministry named the bomber as Fahd Suliman Abdul-Muhsen al-Qabaa and said he flew into Kuwait's airport at dawn on Friday, only hours before he detonated an explosives-laden vest at Kuwait City's Imam al-Sadeq mosque. The Islamic State militant group issued an audio clip purporting to be a posthumous statement by the bomber, in which he criticizes Shi'ite Muslims, "especially in Kuwait", for what he terms insulting Islam. "Very, very soon you will see something unexpected, expect blood, expect death," the speaker says. Reuters was unable to verify immediately the authenticity of the statement. .. View gallery Bodies of victims of the Friday bombing are transferred … Mourners hold flags with names of Prophet Mohammad's family members as the bodies of victims of … Saudi Arabia said al-Qabaa was not previously known to security authorities and had flown out of the kingdom to the Bahraini capital Manama on Thursday, state news agency SPA quoted the interior ministry as saying. The timing of his arrival suggests he had a network already in place in Kuwait. The Kuwaiti interior ministry said it was searching for more partners and aides in this "despicable crime", adding that Qabaa had been born in 1992. Islamic State's Saudi Arabian arm claimed responsibility for the attack on the mosque, where 2,000 worshippers were praying at the time. It was one of three attacks on three continents that day apparently linked to hardline Islamists. The attack was the most significant act of Sunni militant violence in Kuwait since 2005, when an al Qaeda-linked group calling itself the Peninsula Lions clashed with security forces in the streets of Kuwait City. Nine Islamists and four security force members were killed in the gun battles. The bombing has sharply heightened regional security concerns because Islamic State appears to be making good on its threat to step up attacks in the holy fasting month of Ramadan. .. View gallery Son of the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Sabah al Ahmed … Son of the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah (C, 5th R) and Speaker of Parliament … The group, seeking to expand from strongholds in Iraq and Syria, says its priority target is the Arabian peninsula and in particular Saudi Arabia, home of Islam's holiest places, from where it plans to expel Shi'ite Muslims. Islamic State subscribes to a puritanical school of Sunni Islam that considers Shi'ites as heretics. The interior ministry said the driver of the Japanese-made car, who left the mosque immediately after Friday's bombing, was an illegal resident named Abdul-Rahman Sabah Aidan. "DEVIANT" IDEAS The ministry, which had earlier reported the vehicle owner's arrest, said Aidan, 26, was found hiding in one of the houses in the al-Riqqa residential area. .. View gallery Inspectors work at the Imam Sadiq Mosque after a bomb … Inspectors work at the Imam Sadiq Mosque after a bomb explosion, in the Al Sawaber area of Kuwait Ci … "Initial investigations showed that the owner of the house is a supporter of the deviant ideology," it said, employing a term often used by authorities in the Gulf Arab region to refer to hardline Islamist militants. The owner of the house, a Kuwaiti citizen, was also detained, the ministry said. Officials said the bombing was clearly meant to stir enmity between majority Sunnis and minority Shi'ites and harm the comparatively harmonious ties between the sects in Kuwait. Shi'ites are between 15 and 30 percent of the population of Kuwait, where members of both communities live side by side with little apparent friction. Kuwait is a conservative Muslim country where alcohol is banned, but it is less strict than Saudi Arabia on issues such as women's rights and freedom of religion. Kuwaitis reacted with outrage to the bombing. Some said citizens who fund Islamist armed groups fighting in Syria and Iraq were to blame for any militancy in Kuwait. Kuwait has been one of the biggest humanitarian donors to Syrian refugees through the United Nations, but it has also struggled to control unofficial fund-raising for opposition groups in Syria by private individuals. Abdulrahman al-Jeeran, a parliamentarian and member of the ultra-conservative Salafi branch of Islam, told Reuters lawmakers should stop "sectarian discourse" and be prevented from using sectarian issues for electoral gains. (Additional reporting by Rania el Gamal, Sami Aboudi, Noah Browning andf Taghreed al-Madani in Dubai; Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Ralph Boulton and Paul Tait) ===================== Kuwait says mosque bomber was Saudi, detains driver Sun, Jun 28 05:50 AM EDT image 1 of 5 By Ahmed Hagagy KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait on Sunday identified a suicide bomber who carried out the country's worst militant attack as a Saudi citizen and said it had detained the driver of the vehicle that took him to a Shi'ite Muslim mosque where he killed 27 people. The interior ministry named the bomber as Fahd Suliman Abdul-Muhsen al-Qabaa and said he flew into Kuwait's airport at dawn on Friday, only hours before he detonated explosives at Kuwait City's Imam al-Sadeq mosque. Militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at the mosque, where 2,000 worshippers were praying at the time. It was one of three attacks on three continents that day apparently linked to hardline Islamists. "The interior ministry will continue its efforts to uncover the circumstances of this explosion," interior ministry spokesman Adel Hashash told Kuwait state television. The bombing has sharply heightened regional security concerns because Islamic State appears to be making good on its threat to step up attacks in the holy fasting month of Ramadan. The group, seeking to expand from strongholds in Iraq and Syria, says its priority target is the Arabian peninsula and in particular Saudi Arabia, home of Islam's holiest places, from where it plans to expel Shi'ite Muslims. Islamic State subscribes to a puritanical school of Sunni Islam that considers Shi'ites as heretics. The ministry said the driver of the Japanese-made car, who left the mosque immediately after Friday's bombing, was an illegal resident named Abdul-Rahman Sabah Aidan. "DEVIANT" IDEAS The interior ministry, which had earlier reported the vehicle owner's arrest, said Aidan, 26, was found hiding in one of the houses in al-Riqqa residential area. "Initial investigations showed that the owner of the house is a supporter of the deviant ideology," the ministry said, employing a term often used by authorities in the Gulf Arab region to refer to hardline Islamist militants. The owner of the house, a Kuwaiti citizen, was also detained, the ministry said. Officials said the bombing was clearly meant to stir enmity between majority Sunnis and minority Shi'ites and harm the comparatively harmonious ties between the sects in Kuwait. Shi'ites are between 15 and 30 percent of the population of Kuwait, a mostly Sunni country where members of both communities live side by side with little apparent friction. Kuwait is a conservative Muslim country where alcohol is banned, but it is less strict than Saudi Arabia on issues such as women's rights and freedom of religion. Kuwaitis reacted with outrage to the bombing. Some said citizens who fund Islamist armed groups fighting in Syria and Iraq were to blame for any militancy in Kuwait. "The wrath of God will come upon ISIS and everyone who is supporting them and collecting funds for them under the cover of helping refugees and orphans," wrote Hamad al-Baghli, a Kuwaiti, on Twitter. "Everyone who is funding and donating to ISIS should be charged with treason because they want to burn Kuwait," tweeted Asmaa Asiri. In other attacks on Friday, a gunman in Tunisia killed 37 people including Western tourists on a beach, and in France a decapitated body was found after an attacker rammed his car into a gas container, triggering an explosion. There was no evidence Friday's three attacks were coordinated. But coming so close together, they appeared to underscore the far-reaching, fast-growing influence of Islamic State. (Additional reporting by Rania el Gamal in Dubai; Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky) ===================== Kuwait to bury 26 victims of country's first mosque attack #IslamicState Kuwait's largest Sunni mosque will be open for three days of condolences as an act of solidarity with the Shia community Kuwaitis carry a man on a stretcher after a suicide bombing targeted Al-Imam al-Sadeq mosque (AFP) MEE and agencies's picture MEE and agencies Saturday 27 June 2015 10:12 UTC Last update: Saturday 27 June 2015 10:26 UTC 158 51googleplus0 212 Topics: IslamicState Tags: Kuwait, Islamic State, Attack Show comments Kuwait is to hold a mass funeral on Saturday for 26 people killed in a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque claimed by the Islamic State group. The interior ministry said in a statement early on Saturday that 26 people and the bomber were killed and 227 others wounded in one of the country's worst bombings and its first ever on a mosque. The attack targeted Al-Imam Al-Sadeq mosque in the capital Kuwait City during Friday noon prayers. The mosque authorities said in a statement that "Kuwait martyrs" will be laid to rest at the Shia cemetery, west of the capital, at 4pm (1300 GMT). It said that condolences would be accepted for three days starting on Saturday at the Grand Mosque, the largest place of worship for Sunni Muslims, in a show of solidarity. Kuwait's emir, the government, parliament and political groups and clerics have said the attack was aimed at stirring sectarian strife in the emirate. Sunni religious and political groups were quick to condemn the attack carried out by the Islamic State, a radical Sunni group which considers Shia Muslims to be heretics. Shia form a third of Kuwait's 1.3 million native population. The interior ministry has said an unspecified number of suspects were held for questioning in connection with the attack that shocked the small oil-rich Gulf state. No details were provided. The cabinet announced after an emergency meeting on Friday that all security agencies and police had been placed on alert to confront what it called "black terror". It also declared Saturday a day of mourning. Shia activist Abdulwahed Khalfan told AFP that security at Shiite mosques had been beefed up and citizens' committees have been formed. The IS-affiliated group in Saudi Arabia, calling itself Najd Province, said militant Abu Suleiman al-Muwahhid bombed the mosque, which it claimed was spreading Shia teachings among Sunni Muslims. The emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who immediately visited the site of the bombing, said that the "criminal attack is a desperate and evil attempt targeting Kuwait's national unity". Kuwaiti newspapers said the attack aimed to undermine national unity by fanning sectarian tensions. "It is a black day ... in which Kuwait woke up to a spiteful bombing that aimed foremost to undermine its national unity and social structure," said Al-Qabas in a front-page editorial. Al-Anbaa newspaper agreed that the aim of the bomber was to divide society. "The message of the despicable terrorist who blew himself up is clear: an attempt to ignite hateful strife between the Kuwaiti people," said the daily. However, prominent Arab activist Iyad al-Baghdadi criticised the state for prioritising a crackdown against civil society rather than targeting those responsible for spreading sectarian hatred in the Gulf state. Kuwaiti activist Rana Jasem al-Sadoun was sentenced in absentia on 22 June to three years in prison for republishing to YouTube a speech by opposition leader Musallam Al-Barrak. - See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/kuwait-bury-26-victims-countrys-first-mosque-attack-303475787#sthash.xXfIsNtN.dpuf ============================ A suicide bomber killed 27 people when he blew himself up inside a packed Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Kuwait city during Friday prayers, the health ministry and witnesses said, the first attack of its kind in the major oil-exporting state. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded 227 people according to the interior ministry, in the district of Sawaber in the eastern part of the Kuwaiti capital. Parliament member Khalil al-Salih, who was at the mosque when the attack occurred, said worshippers were kneeling in prayer when the bomber walked into the Imam al-Sadeq Mosque and detonated his explosives, destroying walls and the ceiling. "It was obvious from the suicide bomber's body that he was young. He walked into the prayer hall during sujood (kneeling in prayer). He looked ...in his 20s, I saw him with my own eyes," he told Reuters by telephone. "The explosion was really hard. The ceiling and wall got destroyed," he said, adding that more than 2,000 people from the Shi'ite Ja'afari sect were praying at the mosque. The mosque preacher was quoted by state news agency KUNA as saying that the attack targeted worshippers at the back of the mosque, towards the end of the Friday prayers. It was the first suicide bombing at a Shi'ite mosque in Kuwait and worst militant attack in the country for many years. Shi'ites comprise between 15 and 30 percent of the predominantly Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab state, where members of both communities are known to live side by side with little apparent friction. Security forces quickly sealed off the perimeter of the mosque while rescue workers carried the wounded to hospital. RELATED COVERAGE › Suicide bombing an attempt to threaten Kuwaiti national unity: PM Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) spokesman Khaled al-Asousi told Reuters that the company was carrying out "extra monitoring and searches" to boost security around oil facilities after the attack. Islamic State named the bomber as Abu Suleiman al-Muwahed and said in a statement posted on social media that he had targeted a "temple of the rejectionists" -- a term it generally uses to refer to Shi'ites, whom it regards as heretics. Islamic State had urged its followers on Tuesday to step up attacks during the Ramadan fasting month against Christians, Shi'ites and Sunni Muslims fighting with a U.S.-led coalition against the ultra-hardline jihadist group. Also on Friday, a gunman killed 37 people including Western tourists at a beach resort in Tunisia, and in France a decapitated body covered in Arabic writing was found after an attacker rammed his car into a gas container, triggering an explosion. There was no evidence the three attacks were deliberately coordinated. But coming so close together on the same day in three countries on three different continents, they underscored the far-reaching, fast-growing influence of Islamic State, Western politicians said. BLOOD DONATIONS The Health Ministry said Kuwait's blood bank had opened additional centers to receive blood donations and it urged citizens with non-urgent medical needs to avoid the emergency units. Pictures posted on social media and Kuwaiti news websites showed men in traditional white robes smeared with blood outside the mosque. A second photo showed a row of victims wrapped in white body bags and a third the collapsed ceiling of the mosque. Kuwait declared Saturday a day of mourning. Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, who visited the damaged mosque after the attack, said the bombing violated the sanctity of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as well as Islamic law forbidding the shedding of the blood of innocents. "National unity is a protective fence for the security of the nation," Sheikh Sabah said. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, who visited the wounded at the Emiri Hospital, also condemned the bombing as an attempt to jeopardize Kuwait's national unity. "This incident targets our internal front, our national unity," Sheikh Jaber told Reuters outside the hospital. "But this is too difficult for them and we are much stronger than that." Islamic State has recently twice targeted Shi'ite mosques in neighboring Saudi Arabia and carried out attacks against members of the sect's Zaydi branch in Yemen. Kuwait recently approved legislation allowing for security cameras to be placed at public places. Yaqoub Al-Sanea, the minister of justice, religious endowments and Islamic affairs, said that despite Friday's attack, "Kuwait will remain an oasis of security for all groups of Kuwaiti society and all sects. The government is taking many procedures to protect prayers and mosques." (Additional reporting by Hadeel al-Sayegh and Omar Fahmy; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by William Maclean, Mark Heinrich and Andrew Hay)

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